May 30, 2017

Interval Training

One crucial element in your training arsenal has got to be interval training. Interval training simply means you exercise for a while and rest for a while. The rest can be a complete stop or just a slow-down in pace.

If you really want to get faster swimming, cycling or running you must incorporate interval training in your workouts every week.

Most times we think about interval training for our swim workouts but they’re just as important for your cycling workouts and running workouts. By pushing yourself hard and allowing yourself a rest you’re getting your body ready to handle longer and harder efforts.

Here are some interval suggestions:

1. Vary the length of your intervals. Some can be as short as 10 seconds while others may be 10 minutes. A 10 second interval isn’t practical in your cycling and swimming workouts but it is for your treadmill workouts.

2. Vary the length of your rest periods. Some can be as short as 10 seconds while others may be as long as five minutes. Of course if your rest periods are shorter your efforts will probably not be as hard because you won’t be able to hold it. Therefore, if you’re giving yourself long rests between intervals make the effort harder.

3. Vary the effort of the intervals. Some may be mildly faster than your easy efforts while some are all out efforts. If you want to race fast you have to practice fast. Most of your interval efforts (maybe all) should be faster than your race pace. This will help build the muscle memory you need come race day.

4. Vary the length of your workouts. Some may be as short as 15 minutes while others may be as much as 90 minutes. You can also incorporate endurance or power workouts with your interval training if you want. Be creative.

Interval TrainingHere’s an example of a running interval workout for the treadmill:

10-minute warm-up and stretch
30 seconds zone 4-high with 30 seconds rest x 4
60 seconds zone 4-high with 30 seconds rest x 3
90 seconds zone 4-high with 30 seconds rest x 2
120 seconds zone 4-high with 30 seconds rest x 1
Repeat 2 times
10 minute warm-down and stretch

This particular workout has you going hard for longer lengths of time with consistent rests between efforts. If you do this one right you’ll need several towels to mop up the sweat.

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